Fred VanVleet has been slapped with a hefty $30,000 fine following his expletive-laden diatribe against NBA umpire Ben Taylor following the Raptors’ loss to the Clippers on Wednesday.
VanVleet tried to take two deep breaths before addressing reporters, but the guard couldn’t contain his frustration at the referee and his crew — even admitting he would “accept the fine” for his comments.
The player was extremely critical of Taylor after the Raptors’ 108-100 loss – not just for a technical foul, but for the difference in fouls and free throws. He was fined $30,000 by the NBA on Thursday for public criticism of the agency on duty.
‘I do not mind. I’ll take the fine. I don’t really care,” VanVleet began before launching into a composed but expletive-laden diatribe during his press conference.
“I thought Ben Taylor was awful tonight. I think most nights, you know, out of three, there’s one or two that just ruin the game. That’s been the case for several games in a row. Denver, of course, was tough.”
WARNING – EXPLICIT LANGUAGE
Toronto Raptors star Fred VanVleet fined $30,000 for publicly criticizing an official
VanVleet called out referee Ben Taylor for being “f****** horrible” in his post-game comments
“You come out tonight, compete pretty hard and I get a bulls*** technology that changes the whole dynamic of the game, changes the whole flow of the game.”
VanVleet, who is in his sixth year in the NBA, was called up for his eighth technical of the season with 7:02 left in the third quarter. Paul George made the free throw to put the Clippers 65-57.
VanVleet said the reason he picked up the technique was because he begged his team to continue playing with what he thought were some questionable calls, albeit with more colorful language.
He also said he understood there’s a fine line to what he can say, but Taylor didn’t give him enough leeway.
Toronto got 23 fouls to Los Angeles’ 18, but the Clippers were 24 of 31 off the line while the Raptors were 13 of 14.
“We didn’t get our money’s worth on a lot of those infractions,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said of the infractions. ‘Probably a little contact. We didn’t adapt (to the style of play) because we were in the same situation again.’
VanVleet and the Raptors were already in a bad mood about Wednesday’s performance before the game. They lost Monday night in Denver 118-113 after Scottie Barnes was ejected with 28.3 seconds left by Scott Foster and the Raptors trailing by one.
The technical report came after Toronto’s Jakob Poeltl was called for a foul. Denver made the three consecutive free throws to freeze the game.
Of VanVleet’s eight technical points, three were reviewed by Taylor, one of which came from another official in a game Taylor was working on. Taylor is in his 10th season as an NBA official.
“At a certain point you feel as a player that it’s personal and it’s never a good place to be,” said VanVleet. “That’s why we didn’t lose tonight, we got outplayed, but it certainly makes it harder to win.”
VanVleet was already fined $3,000 for the technical. He will face a greater one because he serves.
NBA official Ben Taylor was verbally eviscerated and accused of his decisions being “personal.”
“I think the jurisdiction and the power trip we’ve had this year with some of our officials in this league is getting out of hand and I’ll take my fine for talking about it,” VanVleet said.
“Most referees do their best, I like a lot of the referees, they do their best, they are fairly fair and communicate well.
“And then you have the others who just want to be (idiots) and just kind of (mess up) the game. And no one comes to see that. They come to see the players.’
“And I think we’re kind of losing the structure of what the NBA is and was, and it’s been disappointing this season.”